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Many Sex on the Beach!
May 10, 2012 4:28 PM   Subscribe

What is the correct or best way to pluralize the cocktail named "Sex on the Beach"?

I'm in a writing workshop and a fellow member is unsure. He currently has it as "Sex in the Beach-es", but my gut says that's not quite right. "Sex-on-the-Beaches"?

Thoughts? Thanks!
posted by two lights above the sea to Writing & Language (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Could he rewrite it -- something like "I drank one too many Sex on the Beach cocktails"?
posted by theredpen at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2012


Sexes on the Beach
posted by The World Famous at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


Duh. Sexes on the Beaches.
posted by 4ster at 4:30 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


Sexes on the Beach? (not a completely serious response)
posted by colin_l at 4:31 PM on May 10, 2012


Depends in the situation and context.

"I'd like to have Sex on the Beach, twice" or "Sex on the Beach, make it a double" would work.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:31 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think this is one of those words that is very hard to pluralize in an elegant fashion. My inclination is towards "Sexeses on the Beacheseses" but that's after a few Sexeses on the Beacheses.
posted by mskyle at 4:31 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Does it need a modification? "Bartender, four Sex on the Beach, please."
posted by colin_l at 4:32 PM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's not like Attorneys General or Courts Martial. Just call 'em Sex on the Beaches.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:33 PM on May 10, 2012


Could he rewrite it -- something like "I drank one too many Sex on the Beach cocktails"?

Or "I should have stopped after that third Sex on the Beach". If pluralization of this monster could be avoided I would choose to do so, because even if there's a "correct" style, it's going to sound funny to 2 of 3 readerses.
posted by ftm at 4:34 PM on May 10, 2012


No, there's no way to rewrite it. I suspect that he'll have to rewrite this list (a character names a bunch of pluralized cocktails in a story) to include easily pluralized cocktail names. He also has Four Horsemen-s. I'm 99% sure that's wrong.

I welcome easily pluralized cocktail names as an alternative to answering my original question. If that's ok with the mods, that is!
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:34 PM on May 10, 2012


I'd go with colin_l on this.
posted by curious nu at 4:34 PM on May 10, 2012


"Sex on the Beach" is like "Moose" - the plural is the same. "I'd like two Sex on the Beach, please." This has been conclusively determined by prominent bibendalcesologists.
posted by Dasein at 4:35 PM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think what most people would instinctively say is "Ugh, I drank six sex on the beaches last night." But I want it to be sexes on the beach, sort of like courts marshal or attorneys general.

On preview: I'm slow, what Rock Steady said!
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:36 PM on May 10, 2012


Or, not exactly what Rock Steady said. But same thought process I guess...
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:36 PM on May 10, 2012


I'm much more comfortable with Four Horsemen as the plural of Four Horsemen than I am with Sex on the Beach as the plural of Sex on the Beach.

Kamikazes!
Slippery Nipples!
Hurricanes!
Pink Ladies!
Mind Erasers!

(Trying to keep it in the same vein - obviously also Manhattans, Gin and Tonics, Martinis...)
posted by mskyle at 4:37 PM on May 10, 2012


courts marshal

Oh, auto-correct, grrr.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 4:38 PM on May 10, 2012


Can he just say, "[X number} sex on the beach drinks"?
posted by shortyJBot at 4:39 PM on May 10, 2012


Make it funny. "Sex on the beach! ...es." Sex as in intercourse is not a countable word.
posted by michaelh at 4:40 PM on May 10, 2012


Sex on the Beach.

As in:

I'll have three Tom Collins, two Harvey Wallbangers, some Artilleryman's Punch, and four 'Sex on the Beach' please.

And make it snappy!
posted by mazola at 4:40 PM on May 10, 2012


When I tended bar I got "Four sex on the beaches". I'd order it the same way.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:48 PM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


How about a Sandy Orgy?

Yeah, "Sex on the Beaches" sounds right to me.
posted by Gridlock Joe at 4:54 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I tended bar I got "Four sex on the beaches". I'd order it the same way.

What he said.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:55 PM on May 10, 2012


My experience as a bartender was the same as bitdamaged's (though I personally would never order even one).
posted by trip and a half at 4:56 PM on May 10, 2012


The wife insists on adding shooters to the name, so one could say "I want four Sex on the Beach shooters".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:59 PM on May 10, 2012


It's "sex on the beaches", according to the Teaches of Peaches (2002).
Huh? What? Right. Uhh.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2012 [47 favorites]


a character names a bunch of pluralized cocktails in a story

Right. This is a bit of more-or-less realistic fiction? Then it doesn't matter what's "correct." What matters is what people actually say in that situation. And what people actually say is "sex on the beaches."

Having a character order "four sexes on the beach" would give a specific, marked impression of that character — either as a ludicrously pedantic snob or as a nerd with a weird sense of humor. If you're not going for either of those effects, don't write it that way.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:01 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


If you've gotta throw in another noun to pluralize, "sex on the beach cocktails" also sounds kind of pedantic to my ears. I can just about picture someone saying "gimme four shots of sex on the beach" or "gimme four things of sex on the beach." Anything beyond that is unrealistically formal.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:02 PM on May 10, 2012


The wife insists on adding shooters to the name, so one could say "I want four Sex on the Beach shooters".

To my ear, that would be a completely different cocktail. A shooter is something served up in a small glass. It sounds like you're asking me to make a Sex on the Beach (on the rocks, sometimes they're blended) and then strain it it into small glass.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:04 PM on May 10, 2012


Not that I think it matters, but the character is not ordering the cocktails, merely listing a hypothetical list of drinks he might order, with no specific number of each, in order to get drunk. Let's just pretend it has to be plural and he can't name the number of cocktails.

Amazing answers so far!
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:09 PM on May 10, 2012


In that case I'd make it a little looser and more humorous - "an orgy on the beach, a four horsemen - or a dozen horsemen, whatever..." It'll work fine if the audience is the sort to recognize trendy cocktail names, but not otherwise.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:12 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Sex on the Beach"-es
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:48 PM on May 10, 2012


I would say "Sex on the Beaches". It sounds wrong though.

But more likely, I would say "Four Sex on the Beaches, um, I mean, Sexes on the Beach, uh....screw it. Four Margaritas, please".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:11 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you have to specify the number, then "Sex on the Beach times four, please." If not, then I think restless_nomad is right on with Orgy on the Beach.
posted by bricoleur at 6:28 PM on May 10, 2012


This section from Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct about irregular plurals might be helpful. Basically, you pluralize whatever the noun is that there is more of one of. A sex on the beach is not a sex, it's a drink, therefore, its signifier is the full phrase "sex on the beach", and the plural should be placed after that. This is in contrast with "attorneys general" where an attorney general is an attorney, not a general.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:14 PM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sex on the Beachs
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:18 AM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I welcome easily pluralized cocktail names as an alternative to answering my original question.

Caipirinhas!
Mojitos!
posted by Tom-B at 6:04 AM on May 11, 2012


As restless_nomad suggested, I'd go for a humorous list: about Eight Horsemen, a pair of Buttery Nipples, Six on the Beach... etc.
Otherwise, easy plurals like Tequila Sunrises, Margaritas, Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops, Sidecars, Whiskey Sours, Martinis, Appletinis, Rum Runners, Mai Tais, Scorpion Bowls, Long Island Iced Teas... there's a huge number of drinks that it's EASY to make plurals of - why in the world did he choose to work with Sex on the Beach and Four Horsemen unless he's trying to be difficult?
posted by aimedwander at 6:49 AM on May 11, 2012


Scorpions Bowl?
Gins-and-Tonic?
Whiskeys Sour?
Sloe Gins Fizz?
Harveys Wallbanger?
Tequilas Sunrise?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:49 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Personally, if I were writing something like this, I would self-consciously call attention to the problem:

"I asked the bartender for four Sex on the Beaches, or Sexes on the Beach, or Beach Fucks, or whatever. I was drunk, obviously, and I wanted to get drunker without consulting a dictionary."
posted by etc. at 7:17 AM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another elegant solution is to add the word 'drinks':

I'd like four Sex on the Beach drinks, please.

Perhaps a little dorky to some.
posted by chrisinseoul at 7:55 AM on May 11, 2012


sandy cracks
posted by camdan at 10:13 AM on May 11, 2012


Because the buyer would always be a participant, two Sex on the Beaches should be a threesome. Three Sex on the Beaches, a foursome, etc.

I know it sounds confusing, but I think it has to be technically correct.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:43 AM on May 25, 2012


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